Most of us who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 (and the booster if you’ve been able), know that we have to sit for 15 minutes after the injection.
But now, that waiting time has been scrapped for those receiving Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
With Boris Johnson announcing this week that all adults can now start booking boosters, facilities have been inundated.
So, the government has decided to cut the waiting time to ensure more people are seen at vaccination centres.
The four Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) have recommended that for the time being, the 15-minute break is suspended for mRNA- jabs.
“The 15-minute wait after a vaccination with mRNA vaccine will cause more harm than it can avert because it will significantly reduce the number of people who can be vaccinated over a short period of time,” the CMOs said in a statement.
They added it will be a “temporary measure on the grounds of public health need to protect as many citizens as possible over a short period of time”.
Until now, the reason for the 15-minute wait has been due to rare side effects.
All currently deployed vaccines have been proven safe with very low rates of severe side effects. But as with all vaccines, occasional cases of anaphylaxis have been reported, and the rates are slightly higher (but still very low) in the case of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Overall, these risks are very rare.
Now, people will be expected to monitor any side effects themselves.
Everyone who is vaccinated will also be given verbal and written advice on allergic reactions including what actions to take if they become unwell. The government hopes more people will be seen this way and the Omicron variant spread will be curbed.
It said on the website: “There is a need to boost as much of the population as possible before the peak of the Omicron wave, or provide first vaccination to those with no prior protection. It is likely that this will significantly reduce the number of people becoming ill, hospitalised and dying. Given the speed of the current wave this will need to be undertaken very rapidly.
“The mRNA vaccines have shown better ability to boost and are therefore the basis for the current booster campaign.”